This is a worthwhile addition to your Maynard Ferguson collection, assuming you've made your way through his basic studio albums. At this point in his career, Maynard had fronted several different groups (combos, octets and "small" big bands) on the West Coast and also had gone to New York to lead a band called the Birdland Dream Band at the Birdland nightclub in NY. This album was recorded live back on the West Coast with a group of fine (largely) West Coast musicians.
A lot of the arrangements are the same charts that were recorded in NY with the Birdland Dream Band, written by folks like Bill Holman, Marty Paich and Willie Maiden. For the most part they are originals, no pop covers or standards.
You should own the studio CD called "Birland Dream Band" first -- because the recording quality is quite a bit better than this one. However, if you own and like the "Birdland Dream Band," then this live recording is a great chance to hear more. Maynard's playing is spectacular, as usual, and it's great to hear him nail the hard stuff in front of a live audience.
One problem w/this CD is the quality of the recording. Even by the standard of live recordings of the day, Disc 1 was not well recorded. It's not horrible, but decidedly mediocre. Disc 2 is much better. But it's hard to give this a better rating given the recording quality
Still very much worth owning. Maynard had a long and distinguished career on the road and in the studio this is a solid addition to any Maynard collection.